Human Resources and Organisational Development
Version 1; September 2009 Not protectively marked
September 2009: Policy Implemented
June 2010: Styling revised in line with corporate guidelines
If you have any questions regarding this policy please contact the Schools HR Adviser
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1 INTRODUCTION 4
2 DEFINITION OF A GRIEVANCE 4
3 IN SCOPE 4
4 OUT OF SCOPE 5
5 PRINCIPLES 5
6 INFORMAL PROCEDURE 5
7 FORMAL PROCEDURE 5
8 PROCEDURE FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE LEFT EMPLOYMENT 6
9 KEEPING RECORDS 7
10 SUPPORT FOR EMPLOYEES 7
11 FURTHER GUIDANCE 7
This model policy has been written with maintained status in mind. If this model is to be adopted
by schools with Trust, Foundation or Voluntary Aided status reference to the “Local Authority”
need to be replaced with “the Governing Body” Controlled.
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(name of school) understands that on occasions, employees may want to raise a grievance
related to their employment. This policy is to encourage communication between employees and
their Headteacher* to ensure that problems arising during the course of employment can be
expressed and quickly resolved.
Most grievances will be resolved through informal discussions with Headteachers. Employees are
therefore expected to approach their Headteacher with any concerns they have related to their
Employees raising a grievance should be able to do so without fear of victimisation. All those
involved in a grievance have a duty to act honestly and without malice to anyone else. Individuals
raising complaints maliciously will be subject to disciplinary action.
All cases will be dealt with in a non discriminatory and consistent way. The Investigating Officer
and the Chair of the Grievance Hearing will be responsible for ensuring this.
The employee has the right to be accompanied by a work colleague or represented by a trade
union official during all stages of the procedure.
(name of school) may vary its Grievance Policy and/or Grievance Procedure Guide, where it is
appropriate to do so, and in order to comply with its statutory duty.
* Reference to Headteacher could also mean Principal, member of SMT or line manager
2 DEFINITION OF A GRIEVANCE
A grievance is a complaint made by an employee about an action which (name of school) has
taken, or is contemplating taking, in relation to their work.
Grievances can relate to:
terms and conditions of employment
health and safety
difficult working relationships
bullying and harassment
new working practices
This list is not exhaustive.
3 IN SCOPE
(name of school) Grievance Policy applies to all school employees.
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4 OUT OF SCOPE
The Grievance Policy does not apply in the following cases:
Where alternative appeal processes exist.
Where the employee has not submitted their grievance following legislative requirements.
Where the case has already been heard and there is no new evidence.
If the matter relates to a collective dispute. A collective dispute should be raised by the
Trade Union formally in writing to the Assistant Director of HR.
Where the matter relates to the application of conditions of service laid down by PCC
arising from national provincial or local agreements.
If the employee raises a concern in compliance with the Public Interest Disclosure Act;
please refer to the Whistleblowing Policy for further details.
Grievances will be handled as quickly and fairly as possible and informal grievances will be resolved
by the Headteacher. Timescales specified will apply unless varied by agreement between both
If the grievance relates to bullying, harassment, discrimination or victimisation, please
refer to the Anti Bullying and Harassment Policy.
6 INFORMAL PROCEDURE
Employees should discuss their concerns in the first instance with their Headteacher. If they are
unable to approach their Headteacher, then they can informally approach the Chair of Governors.
The Headteacher will seek to resolve the grievance on an informal basis, taking advice if necessary
from other parties. The Headteacher and employee will work together to resolve the problem.
Once resolved, the Headteacher will make a note of the outcome on the employee’s file.
If a grievance cannot be resolved via informal discussions, the formal procedure may then be used.
7 FORMAL PROCEDURE
7.1 Statement of Grievance
An employee who wishes to raise a formal grievance should put their grievance formally, in writing
without unreasonable delay, to their Headteacher specifying the nature of their grievance. Where
the grievance is about their Headteacher, the grievance should be forwarded direct to the Chair
The employee should indicate, as part of their formal written statement, what solution they seek.
An investigation will be undertaken. The appointment of an Investigating Officer should ensure
they can act impartially and have no conflict of interest.
7.3 Grievance Hearing
Hearings may be conducted by either the Headteacher/Principal or a panel of governors, except in
cases where the Headteacher/Principal is the:
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Witness to the investigation
Subject of the complaint
When a hearing must be conducted by a panel of governors
The Headteacher will write to the employee with a date for a Hearing, normally within 10 working
days, of the investigation being completed. If the grievance raised is against the Headteacher the
Clerk to Governors will arrange for a panel of governors to meet to hear the grievance.
If the Headteacher has been the Investigating Officer the matter will be referred to a panel of
The employee should take all reasonable steps to attend the Grievance Hearing.
If the employee is unable to attend the Grievance Hearing and can provide reasonable grounds for
not being available, an alternative date will be arranged, normally within 5 working days. If the
reasons are medical then a medical certificate will need to be submitted by the employee.
Failure to attend without reasonable justification will be investigated and appropriate action taken.
The employee has the right to be accompanied by a work colleague, represented by a trade union
official or professional representative.
At the Grievance Hearing the employee will be given an opportunity to discuss their grievance.
After the Hearing, the Chairperson will write to confirm the outcome of the grievance, normally
within five working days. Employees have the right to appeal.
If the employee wishes to appeal, they must formally write to the Headteacher/Chair of
Governors confirming their grounds for appeal. This must be received within 5 days of receiving
written confirmation of the outcome of the Grievance Hearing.
The Appeal Hearing is the final stage of the procedure.
8 PROCEDURE FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE LEFT
Wherever possible a complaint should be dealt with before an employee leaves employment.
However, an employee who has left employment and wishes to raise a grievance should write to
their Headteacher, setting out their complaint as soon as possible after leaving employment,
preferably within two weeks. Where the complaint is about their Headteacher, the complaint
should be sent to the Chair of Governors.
The Headteacher/Chair of Governors will respond in writing and send to the employee. The
response letter must be sent without unreasonable delay. There is no appeal process.
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9 KEEPING RECORDS
Written records will be kept in accordance with (name of school) ‘Retention and Disposition
Schedule’ and the Data Protection Act 1998. Records should include:
The nature of the grievance
A copy of the written grievance
The Headteacher or governors response
Reasons for action taken
Whether there was an appeal and, if so, the outcome; and
All records will be treated as confidential. Copies of notes will be given to the employee. In
certain circumstances, for example to protect a witness, (name of school) might withhold some
information. If witnesses request to remain anonymous, all practical steps will be taken to protect
the identity of employees, however in some circumstances it may be inevitable that their identity is
revealed. Confidentiality of the employees’ identity therefore cannot be guaranteed.
10 SUPPORT AVAILABLE FOR EMPLOYEES
Employees can approach their Headteacher or Schools HR Adviser for support. In some cases a
referral may be made to the Occupational Health Unit for counselling. Alternatively, employees
who are a member of a Trade Union may wish to contact their Trade Union Official or
11 FURTHER GUIDANCE
If you would like further guidance on how to handle a grievance, please refer to the current
Grievance Procedure Guide, or your Schools HR Adviser.
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